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Planned Giving

Circle of Life Society Members

Janet MajerusJanet Majerus – Bequest

As a volunteer in Discovery Bay, Janet Majerus combined her love for birds, education and the Zoo into an estate gift. Supporting the Zoo is important, she says, to ensure it's here for generations to come. More

Ellie CrosbyEllie Crosby – CGA

Trustee Ellie Crosby has been an advocate for the Minnesota Zoo since the very beginning. Through a charitable gift annuity, she receives income for life and the satisfaction of supporting an organization close to her heart. More

Jim and Nancy GuerinJim and Nancy Guerino – IRA

Over several years supporting the Zoo, Jim and Nancy Guerino have gained an understanding of our connectedness to the natural world, especially animals. By giving from their IRAs, they're able to benefit those who visit the Zoo and themselves. More

Corrine SmithCorrine and Sheldon Smith - Bequest

Corrine Smith has a lifelong love of nature—a love she passed down to her children. See how she's ensuring her appreciation for nature and animals continues through a gift in her estate plan. More

Ivy CelenderIvy Celender - Bequest

Ivy Celender knows the value of special animal experiences. She is a longtime fan of the Zoo and she's observed the benefits firsthand. More

Edie ErnstEdie Ernst - Bequest

Edie Ernst first visited the Minnesota Zoo in 1994 and continues to be a regular visitor today. See how she's ensuring our animals will continue to thrive and inspire visitors' curiosity for years to come. More

Karel WeigelKarel Weigel - IRA

Karel Weigel has a passion for the Minnesota Zoo and its efforts to educate and engage visitors. She made a gift to ensure those efforts continue for years to come. More

Gary and Marcia RichterGary and Marcia Richter - Life Insurance

Gary and Marcia Richter have long supported the Zoo by investing both and time and money. The couple recently included the Zoo in their estate plan. More

Rodney ForristallRodney Forristall - Bequest

Rodney Forristall loves being outdoors at the Minnesota Zoo, and he visits often to walk the Northern Trail, see the bird show, and enjoy lunch at Russia's Grizzly Coast.  More

Bruce and Terry HutchinsBruce and Terry Hutchins - Bequest

"I feel like a little kid again when I'm at the Minnesota Zoo," raves Terry Hutchins. "Bruce and I have loved bringing our grandkids and friends there for many years.  More

Pat KoorsPat Koors - Bequest

Some of the Zoo's best friends support the Minnesota Zoo financially, while others are generous with their time. Pat Koors does both.  More

Paul OlsonPaul Olson - Bequest

Answering an announcement recruiting volunteers for "the new zoo" on WCCO Radio in 1977, Paul Olson solidified his life-long commitment to animals.  More

Denny AlbrechtDennis Albrecht - CGA

When the Zoo opened in 1978, Dennis joined the Zoo's talented crew of "Blue Shirt" volunteers. For the next 25 years, he volunteered two Sundays a month, helping Zoo guests of all ages with their questions.  More

Bobbie HedgeBobbie Hedge - CGA

If you visit the Zoo on a Tuesday, you may have the pleasure of meeting Bobbie Hedge, a 13-year volunteer who discovered the Zoo when she moved from Santa Barbara to Minnesota.  More

Doug Jones Family FoundationDoug Jones Family Foundation - Endowment

Doug Jones makes supporting the Minnesota Zoo a family affair. Among Jones' family and friends (from Warroad to Eagan) are many teachers, so it is not surprising that education is near and dear to his heart.  More

David and Jaimi RomansDavid and Jaimi Romans - Endowment

In October of 2009, David and Jaimi Romans tragically lost their 9 month old son, Will, to H1N1. Will was a beautiful, playful, happy little boy who loved the Minnesota Zoo.  More

eBrochure Request Form

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charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Minnesota Zoo an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, a non-profit Minnesota corporation, located at 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124, the sum of $____ (or, ___ percent of my estate, or, ___ percent of the residue of my estate) to be used for such purposes as the Board of Trustees determines at the time this bequest becomes effective."


able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Zoo or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Zoo as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Zoo as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Zoo where you agree to make a gift to the Zoo and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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